Have you ever picked up a hobby only to put it down and forget all about it shortly after? Over ten years ago, I had a little dalliance with decoupage after I visited John Derian’s booth at the New York Gift Show and I thought, I can do that. But I never really did. I cut up some paper, splashed some Mod Podge around, but never really got into it. And, what I made wasn’t good. Truly, not good.
But, just because I put down the hobby didn’t mean that I wasn’t still enamored. John has a seasonal store in Provincetown in the basement of his house there (up the side street with its own entrance). Sadly, Mecca (aka the store) is never open when I’ve been there. It’s like the holy grail for me, or finding a unicorn. One year I went and it had closed for the season the day before. Once I was in town for dinner and it had close an hour earlier. I’ve stood at the door and peered longingly through the window. Wailing softly (just kidding, kinda sorta). As a matter of fact, I am taking a week off in a couple of weeks (RoyRoy is going into the kennel at his hospital to be well looked after), and I thought – Hey! Road trip! Newp, the only day I can do it, they are closed. Is it never to be?? (Wailing plaintively. Literally.)
Anyway, I still love all of John’s work, there is such an old-timey whimsey and humor to so many of his pieces. But, he’s not the only one I’ve found whose work I really like.
Melinda Marye-Kelley Decoupage
Before I knew of John Derian’s work, I had written about the work of Melinda Marye-Kelley, a decoupage artist out of Texas. As a thank you for my post, Melinda sent me this lovely wastebasket, which I still have.
Marge-Kelley has lots of different decorative styles and products, including options for customization.
Jill Barnes-Dacey Decoupage
A new favorite is Jill Barnes-Dacey whose work is beautifully artistic.
Linda Merrill Decoupage !
I’ve had a long summer sticking to home as much as possible to help my RoyRoy recover from IVDD surgery and have been casting about for something to do with my hands. I used to have tons of hobbies – sewing, quilting, soap making, pillow making, photography, decoupage. And slowly, as life has gotten busy and work and blogging became more creative and time consuming on their own, my hobbies fell to the wayside. So, I decided to give decoupage another look. It’s not that hard to pick up – there’s not a lot of start up costs – unlike say pottery with the need for a wheel and kiln. Or photography with the need for an expensive camera. That said, I did immediately spend a couple of hundred bucks on paper and some glass pieces from various sources to test out. And I’ve been haunting the pick-up-and-drop-off at my transfer station and thrift shops for glass pieces and vases I can practice on.
My first attempt was unspeakably bad – I tried to decoupage a wooden dress hanger with tissue paper. Let us not speak of that mess again!
But moving on, I bought a couple of small glass baking dishes (about 6 x 6) at the local thrift store.
Above is looking down into it and below is the bottom and side. The decoupage is all on the outside, so the bowl itself could hold dry foods (nuts or chips) as it can’t be washed, but can be wiped. The bottom and sides have been covered in several coats of a thick varnish, so it can be wiped as well, but not submerged in water. It’s not perfect, as I’m testing different paper types. For instance, the bottom papers (green and harlequin) are rice paper which tear and bleed through very easily I discovered) and the top is a mix of different craft and wrapping papers.
And my next two projects are these small glass trays, about 4 x 6. The decoupage is on the bottom, but only needs to be one sided as the bottom is then painted, a coat of white, then black and then covered in a felt. The edges are painted with a gold leafing pen.
I’m going to give these trays to two of my girlfriends who have been so supportive this summer as I’ve been dealing with RoyRoy. (Hopefully they aren’t reading this post!).
And this is a vase I did in 2018, though this photo has been shot added in March 2020.
What are your hobbies? I’d love to hear!